D&D 5E Latest D&D Errata: Drow, Alignment, & More

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Sage Advice is a series of articles in which Jeremy Crawford, one of the D&D Studio’s game design architects, talks about the design of the game’s rules and answers questions about them.

D&D books occasionally receive corrections and other updates to their rules and story. This Sage Advice installment presents updates to several books. I then answer a handful of rules questions, focusing on queries related to Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons and Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos.

Official errata has been published for the following books:
Here's some of the highlights.
  • Alignment is removed from the Racial Traits section of races.
  • Drow have undergone lore changes which reflect the different types of drow. The 'darkness of the drow' sidebar which portrays them as only evil has been removed.
  • Storm King's Thunder alters references to 'Savage Frontier' and 'barbarians'; Curse of Strahd alters references to the Vistani.
  • The controversial Silvery Barbs spell has been clarified.
As a drow, you are infused with the magic of the Underdark, an underground realm of wonders and horrors rarely seen on the surface above. You are at home in shadows and, thanks to your innate magic, learn to con- jure forth both light and darkness. Your kin tend to have stark white hair and grayish skin of many hues.

The cult of the god Lolth, Queen of Spiders, has cor- rupted some of the oldest drow cities, especially in the worlds of Oerth and Toril. Eberron, Krynn, and other realms have escaped the cult’s influence—for now. Wherever the cult lurks, drow heroes stand on the front lines in the war against it, seeking to sunder Lolth’s web.
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From the sounds of it, that's not an option for those using D&D Beyond as their point of reference.

It'll be interesting to see, after 10-20 years or so, whether there's been any real spike in aftermarket/collector pricing for the original versions of these books vs the errataed versions.
I have D&D Beyond... and I can create a Custom monster right now that is an exact duplicate of any monster in the SRD. So if I discovered that the Mage statblock (for instance) was going to lose its spell list if/when the new book was released... I could just duplicate the Mage and save that "Custom monster" as-is right now so that the spell list remains intact. But even if I didn't do that... I could still easily take the "new" Mage monster statblock after it got changed via the new book and just create a Custom copy of it and then add whatever spells I wanted to the copied statblock. That's part of the beauty of D&D Beyond.

So that's not really a massive issue by any stretch.
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How does not mentioning a brothel foster anti-sexworker mindsets? The books probably don't mention mah jongg rooms either but that doesn't mean people are going to read it and say "hey, this book is against mah jongg!"

And we're talking about a single word in a random tavern table. A random tavern table than many of us have likely never used, let alone noticed before now, mind you. SMH.


As pointed to a similar question (by me) on Reddit, probably the map of Tamoachan was simply reprinted because the original in the book it's in a two pages spread and the central part is hard to come by. I admit I've searched for older map of the shrine on google images about those rooms in the middle.


I do have to wonder why WotC can't just wait for their monster reprint extravaganza next month, at least with Volo's. I'm sorry if people have convinced you how terrible some of your previous work was, but own your past.
So own your past by NOT changing stuff that could be changed? That's... an interesting... take.

Rockstar North Rep: "Yeah, we know we released the GTA Trilogy - Definitive Edition with a whole bunch of bugs... but we're not going to fix them, we're going to leave the broken game as-is so that you all can know for the rest of time just how we messed it up." ;)

it is an oddiity.... I never said it was a breaking point... it is an odd prudish thing to do and it helps foster anti sexworker mindsets... but no, it isn't going to stop me from buying 5.5/6/anniversary edition
We are inferring a lot about the designers' intent from an errata, but it strikes me as a reasonable thing to do given that the game (and the dmg in particular) has a weird and troublesome history around objectifying women. These were books that assumed male readers and adopted a male gaze. So I assume it is that concern--misogyny--that the change is trying to address. Now, maybe you can argue that brothels in dnd games are just evidence that gamers are particularly open-minded about sex work, and perhaps all those chainmail bikinis in fantasy just show how sex positive fantasy and dnd has always been, but...that strikes me as a bit disingenuous.

This topic reminds me of The Witcher video games. Some people will say that the sex in these games shows that they are "mature" and for "adults," when, for the most part, it's cringy and juvenile, and adolescent boy's version of what it means to be "mature."


B/X Known World
I don't think TSR's problems in the 90s primarily had to do with changes to the game, it was more the business strategy.
The similarity being the caving to pressure groups.
I'm under the impression that their products sold well, but they had no coherent product line strategy, printed too many copies of certain products and too many products overall, and that things like boxed sets with full color maps were expensive to produce.
There's literally books written on all the things that went wrong.
That being said rival products were able to market themselves as "mature" and "edgy" compared to dnd (e.g. Vampire).
Yeah. That's always a thing. Especially when you scrub your game of anything that might be problematic and intentionally focus on selling to a younger audience.
But I think that had more to do with people tiring of traditional fantasy?
Yet here we are. More players than ever. I wonder if the current numbers are bigger than the sum total of numbers from all previous editions combined. I don't think people, as a generalization, get tired of D&D-style fantasy. Individuals, clearly can get tired of it. But people? Apparently not.
As for 5e, given that an errata has produced 24 pages of discussion, I'm not too concerned about their popularity.
Yeah, no one's worried about D&D's popularity today. It's a question of 2024 and beyond.
The bigger "worry" is that wotc won't be able to keep up their tremendous growth and profits, leading to investors getting upset and demanding drastic changes.
It's literally impossible for infinite growth on a finite planet. 5E was a nostalgia edition after a drastic change up. 5E not only has a bigger market share than its ever had (except the few months it was literally the only RPG on the market) but it's got millions of new younger fans playing the game. The only place it has to go up is broad, mainstream success. I'm skeptical something like D&D can do that. But I absolutely could be wrong. There is, however, a long way for it to go down. That's the concern. Not a hope. Certainly not. But a concern.


Frankly, I can look at the news and confidently say that inhuman evil does tend to be more deep, complex, and-were the latter in a story rather than real life-narratively satisfying than human evil. The point were WotC looks to recent headlines for the motivations of Beholders and demon lords is when I yeet.


The point were WotC looks to recent headlines for the motivations of Beholders and demon lords is when I yeet.
Aren't beholder's incorrigible narcissists that care for nothing but themselves and are utterly incapable of considering the wellbeing of others up to and including breeding their own destruction?

Fifinjir, I've got some terrible news to share about the last two years...

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